The Washington Township Board of Education is making schools a safer place from the ground up.
At the latest board meeting, a contract was awarded to Northeastern Hardwood Floors, Inc. to remove nine rubberized floors in the district, install new flooring and clean the affected areas where mercury vapor from the rubberized floor could have infected equipment. The process of removal, cleaning and installation will cost the district approximately $2.7 million according to business administrator Peg Meehan. A separate part of the bid includes monitoring from a third-party company to ensure no malpractice occurs, like installing a new floor that could be potentially dangerous. This part of the bid will cost under $40,000 and will include a certified industrial hygienist, according to Meehan.
“We hope to be able to start removing the equipment next week,” Meehan said. “We have a pre-construction meeting. If this goes through, an invite will go out on Friday. Then trailers will deliver items to each of the schools where the equipment will go in.”
From there, the bleachers will be removed, cleaned and sealed in plastic to store in the hallway. The floors will not be removed until school’s out for the summer.
The new floor will appear to be real wood, but is actually a vinyl surface. Superintendent Joseph Bollendorf said the floor is similar to a floor at Total Turf in Pitman, and advised curious residents to check it out there.
“It’s highly green in terms of what it’s made out of. It’s not a poured floor,” Bollendorf said.
In reference to the dance studio at the high school, Bollendorf believes the new floor will be better than the old one.
“It’s going to provide them with a lot more shock absorption,” he added.
In other news:
- With Peg Meehan retiring, the board of education named Janine Wechter as the district’s new business administrator.
- The board gave out its inaugural support professionals of the year awards.
“We’re really excited to have something similar to ‘Teacher of the Year’ for our support professionals,” board President Julie Kozempel said.
Angela Turruso, a specialized assistant from Hurffville Elementary School, and Angela Longo, a basic skills incorporated math assistant from Wedgwood Elementary School, were awarded Elementary Support Staff of the Year; Laura Gallucci, an instructional assistant from Bunker Hill Middle School, and Maureen Wohlgemuth, an instructional assistant from Chestnut Ridge Middle School, were awarded Middle School Support Staff of the Year; Eileen DeMarco and Danyele Lee from Washington Township High School were awarded High School Support Staff of the Year; Diane Rainey, a cook from Bunker Hill Middle School, was awarded Food Service Support Staff of the Year; Gary Rooney was awarded Transportation/Bus Driver Support Staff of the Year; John Fiori from Birches Elementary School was awarded Custodian of the Year; Joseph Goffredo was awarded Maintenance/Mechanic/IT Departments Support Staff of the Year; and Susan Andreas of Bells Elementary School and Criquette Norris from Washington Township High School were awarded Secretary of the Year.
“I want to congratulate the support staff who were recognized,” support staff president Chrissy Kosar said. “It really is a long time coming, but it’s very appreciated.”
- Board Vice President Ray Dinovi attended the annual high school honors banquet. This is a ceremony where students who maintain a 93 average are awarded. Dinovi said there were 169 students in attendance.
“Listening to the types of schools they’re going to is a credit to the high school,” Dinovi said. “It was great to see the students and parents get the recognition they deserve. Everyone who spoke brought up those three main ingredients: parents, students and staff. Next year, I challenge you to have more than 169 [students in attendance].”
- The next board of education meeting is scheduled for June 25 at 7 p.m. at the Eileen Abbott Central Administration building. This meeting is open to the public.